Fans of Tarja (Turunen) enjoy her music for two principal reasons. First, there's the three octave range of her compelling full lyric soprano voice. Second, there's the bold symphonic heavy rock arrangements that characterize her compositions and make her vocals sound even more immense. It's two sides of the same coin, really.
Once more, on her new and fourth solo album, Colours in the Dark, you get the best of both of these elements. Victim of Ritual, the first cut and latest single from the album is an admirable example. It blends Tarja's more operatic vocal side with a large symphonic rock arrangement. It's quintessential Tarja. As is the more delicate Mystique Voyage where Tarja's voice and vocal arrangements carry the song more than the music.
Tarja visits the heavier side of symphonic rock with Darkness where her vocals are less soaring, more moderate. Against the heavier parts of the song, this creates an eerie, yet enjoyable, tension within the song. Leaning more towards the familiar and accessible melodic, yet also symphonic, hard rock side are Neverlight and Never Enough. The former has a huge, often crunchy, guitar line played against the orchestration. The latter has the more definitive rock groove boosted by a quite engaging chorus. (For some odd reason, it sounds like a perfect song for a Bond movie.) The crowning piece of Colours in the Dark may be the last song, Medusa. It's another large and strong song featuring the characteristics mentioned at the start. It also features a duet with Blue October's Justin Furstenfeld who sings in more straight forward rock voice in tandem with Tarja's more operatic style. Overall, Colours in the Dark is a strong album, possibly one of Tarja's best. Recommended.
Colours in the Dark is another strong album for Tarja, featuring her olympic vocal style and grand symphonic song compositions.
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